This passage deals with the church as a body. As a former Pentecostal I used to hear the first part of this passage all the time but the fact is there is a central theme to the entire passage that is often missed in the discussion of the body of Christ. The whole passage centers on the necessity of their being multiple body parts and that they be unified in one body. As I studied this passage the image was one of Frankenstein’s monster or Mr. Universe.
What I am driving at is the body of Christ is what we make it. Paul’s concern is that we tend to make it more Frankenstein like when we exalt one part above the other or we say that certain members do not belong or even that we do not belong or are unnecessary. There is no unity but a disjointed and stuck together body that has been stitched together through whatever when we have these attitudes. Much like Frankenstein, in this disjointed form it requires a regular jolt of electricity to keep moving and stay alive. The holy Spirit has to work in inspiring each individually rather than the whole of the church.
Paul is driving for something more like Mr. Universe and a bodybuilder. The bodybuilder looks at his body and does not see any part as unnecessary but that all of them have to work together to make things happen. You have to workout in all areas or it won’t work either. The bodybuilder who works his arms but neglects his legs because he thinks they are unnecessary will never be Mr. Universe. It requires careful consideration and a good trainer to make the best. In such attitudes in the body of Christ it makes it possible for us to recognize that the main thing is the holy Spirit working in all of us to achieve unity and powerful strength.
Paul’s points are that no one does everything, each part has its place and necessary function and everyone must work and feel the other parts of Christ body to work. No person is unnecessary in the body of Christ and all of us have our role in it. No one gets more honor than another. All of us are important.
The choice at the cross roads is simple. To keep considering there other members of the body as more important, more necessary than us or less than us and thus have a Frankenstein’s monster of a Body of Christ or we can work together and strengthen each other when we fail, glory in each ones accomplishments and be Mr. Universe. The choice is yours.